I noticed in passing this shot of a newsstand — from 1942, it turns out — on James Reasoner’s blog, but Andy Bienstock from Baltimore brought to my attention that I needed to hop over to the Shorpy site where it “originally” appears for a closer look.
On Shorpy you can explode the image so that you can tell which magazines are shelved, and Andy noticed, “Top right is Ellery Queen with ‘Fly Paper.’ Fun looking!” Shorpy also allows readers to add to the info and a guy pinpoints the issue of EQMM as July 1942.
At that time you still had a lot of regular-sized wood pulp magazines on the stands, but digests such as EQMM were working their way in — like tiny mammals in the age of the dinosaur, preparing to invade and take over that environmental niche.
Andy is the guy from Baltimore who asked for a tour back in May — and gave me lots of advance notice. Give me enough advance notice, and I always try to accommodate any Hammett fans coming in from out of town (though living in Hammett’s old hometown of Baltimore is almost as good as hiking up and down the mean streets of Frisco, I’m guessing).